When Matt Harvey Pitches You Better Wear Shades

Isn’t it amazing how we feel as Mets fans after a Matt Harvey start? Have you noticed how the other fan bases around baseball look at us now that we have Matt Harvey? 

Matt Harvey’ performance hides alot of the Mets imperfections, like Ike Davis playing first base like its’ 3:45 AM or Capt Kirk getting bad jump on a fly ball in centerfield or holding our breath on a ground ball to Ruben Tejada, when you’re down about the Mets play at times all you have to say is, Is Matt Harvey a stud or what? It makes it all better.

Harvey was large and in charge again last night at a library quiet Citizen Bank Ball Park as he sliced and diced the Dirty Old Phuck Phaces with a Frisbee like slider and fast ball after fastball. Sure Harvey had a bit of an issue with command but he still was never in any danger in this game, unlike the once great Roy Halladay who turned into an old man in front of our eyes. Ron Darling even went into an old pitchers stick together soliloquy over the demise of Doc Halladay but then realized he was working this game for SNY and not TBS and stopped in mid-sentence to realize his Mets fan audience was enjoying their team stepping on Halladay’s throat.

As you all know I am a fin of Collin Cowgill but when I see him with that flat brim on his cap it drives me up a wall. I hate flat brims on baseball cap with a passion BEND THAT BRIM COLLIN!!!!!!!

I’m not worried about Ike Davis at the plate but I am stunned at how bad a first base he’s been playing. Last few games, he’s been a mess in the field.

I like the blue uni top the Mets wear at home but I’m not a fan of the blue road top. I’m ok with the snow whites but they wear them too damn much. There is nothing better than watching the Mets when they are in their pinnies in fact I’d love them even better without the names on the back. The all blue cap is the best cap in baseball. The new blue and orange caps would be better if the “ny” was all orange. I LOVE, LOVE ,LOVE the Mr. Met cap but then again I have always had a strong affection for Mr.Met.

Last night David Wright went after a pop up in foul territory. A Phuck Phace fan tried to interfere with Wright as he caught the pop up and then had the balls to ask Wright for the baseball. Wright shot this shit head a “Are you fucking me” look that was straight out of Bensonhurst.

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The Sweet Success of Opening Day

 

So far so good, the New York Mets are undefeated in 2013. Matt Harvey tries to keep the line moving tomorrow night. Here are some observations on yesterday’s opening day win:

I wasn’t in attendance at Citi Field yesterday due to my son coming back from a two week trip to Italy and Switzerland. At 17 years old he’s already been to Europe and hiked the New Mexico desert. When I was 17 I was happy to just spend time going to Coney Island and playing stick ball.

I watched all the festivities on SNY. The pre-game show started at 11:30 AM and right away the chemistry between Bobby Valentine and Bobby Ojeda was a hit. I can guarantee the spread sheet contingent of baseball fans would disagree with everything Valentine and Ojeda have to say about baseball which makes what Valentine and Ojeda say more valid.

Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez and Kevin Burkhardt were in mid-season form yesterday. Hernandez had the line of the day. After KB interviewed the stunning Emily Rossum and threw it back to the booth, Hernandez mentioned that there are times he envies Kevin and the job that he has. Welcome to the dirty old man club Keith.

I still can’t understand why SNY has a 90 minute pre-game show but still has to interrupt game action with pre-recorded interviews?

What did I tell you about Collin Cowgill? As fabulous as his Grand Slam was in the 7th I was more impressed by the hustle double he hit in the 4th that normally would have been a single to center but Cowgill was thinking double right out of the box. Love that!

The worst outfield in baseball went 4 for 12 with 2 BB 3RS and 6 RBI (4 RBI from Cowgill and 2 from Byrd)

SNY put a camera on Jon Niese after the 6th inning where Terry Collins was coming over to tell him his day was over and a let him know “Job well done” Niese was very animated in making his case to stay in the game. There was a meeting between Collins, Dan Warthen and John Buck along with Niese pleading his case to stay in for the 7th inning. It was decided to let Niese go back out to start the 7th. It seems there was caveats that as soon as Niese was to throw his 100th pitch, he was done for the day. Even though Niese got 2 quick outs, Collins brought Brandon Lyon in the game to get the last out. SNY then aimed their camera at Collins giving an explanation to Niese on why he took him out. When the lecture was over  Niese had a big smile on his face and Collins go this message across.

I’ve mention about meeting Jon Niese and finding him as dull as dish water, yesterday between seeing him interact with John Buck and with Collins and Warthen, it looks like Niese has a new and improved personality which I feel goes hand in hand with the confidence he has that now knows he is a top flight big league pitcher.

Speaking of John Buck, how great is it to see a bon fide big league catcher handling the Mets staff.  You can see that Buck is a future ML manager. SNY showed inning after inning, Buck sitting with Niese and it seemed that they were going over their game plan. After the game, Buck was praising Niese saying he would the ace of any staff he pitched for. Whether you or I believe that, you have to love Buck pumping up his teammate like that.

Got to feel for poor Ike Davis, while everyone in the lineup made a contribution, Ike took the Golden Sombrero.

Got to feel great for Scott Rice and a great gesture by Terry Collins to give the 14 year career minor leaguer the ball in his first ML opening day.

Scott Achinson looks like a guy who just competed in a fantasy camp, he’s the oldest looking 37 year old I’ve ever seen.

No Mets game today but tonight R.A. Dickey will make his Blue Jay debut. I’ll be watching that one and rooting for R.A.

 

 

 

 

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Bobby Valentine to SNY???? Giddy-Up!!!!!!

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It would be a boon to SNY’s Mets coverage to add Bobby Valentine to the pre and post game show. IN fact I hope SNY takes it further and adds Bobby V to the broadcast booth when either Keith Hernandez or Ron Darling are not scheduled. Talk about must see TV.

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Hope Shines For Shannon Fund Raiser

As most of you know Shannon Forde of the Mets Media Department is battling Stage IV breast cancer and fund raiser has set up to help her and her family with the expenses that have come up during her fight.  There will be a dinner and Greet and Meet on Thursday November 1st from 7PM to 11PM at the Westmount Country Club which is located in Woodland Park NJ. Ron Darling will emcee the evening’s proceedings which will include an open bar, cocktail hour and dinner.  There will also be a silent and live auction for memorabilia from all the teams in the New York area and other teams from MLB as well. Tickets for this event are $100.

There will also be a special Meet and Greet at the same time and same venue as the dinner. Tickets for this are $250 and includes meeting and receiving autographs form  Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, John Franco, Bobby Ojeda, Edgardo Alfonzo, Ed Charles, Ed Kranepool, Matt Harvey, Daniel Murphy, Willie Randolph and Joe McEwing.

Along with the dinner/Meet and Greet there is an ongoing online auction that includes some truly once in a lifetime experiences that you can bid on like personnel pitching lessons for R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana, hitting lessons from David Wright, meeting Kelly Rippa and Michael Strahan and touring their studio, visit ESPN headquarters in Bristol CT and get a behind the scenes look at Baseball Tonight set with a guided tour and how about this one? You can bid on being a New York Highlanders P.R. Department employee for the day!

As you’ve read and heard (excellent job by WFAN and Mike Francesa who have made mention of the charity every day during the drive time show) Shannon is revered by everyone who has had the great fortune to be around her, especially the group of Mets bloggers that she and Danielle Parillo have graciously taken under their wings and provided us with access we never thought we’d ever have to cover and be around the team we’ve loved our whole lives.

If you cannot attend the dinner/meet and greet you can still make a donation to this great cause, you can send you generous donation via check made out to Hope Shines for Shannon and send it C/O DTRF P.O. Box 3145 Point Pleasant, NJ 08742.

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Must Read of the Day Ron Darling Guest Column of Shannon Forde

 

Ron Darling has a guest column in today’s NY Daily News about Mets Sr. Director of Media Relations Shannon Forde and her fight with Stage IV breast cancer and information on the fund raiser on her behalf. Check out Hope Shines For Shannon for all the details of this great event

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The Dog Days Of July ?

 

Remember back about a month ago when the Mets were proving the critics wrong by playing hard nose balls to the wall baseball that translated into winning games and had the beaten down fan base thinking of crisp cool evenings in October at Citi Field ? What happen?
It’s hard to pinpoint but this Mets team that looked to be tougher and more resilient that in the past has lost its mojo. Or has it? Are the Mets like water and have found their level?
The level of frustration with the Mets is not just relegated to the fan base. The more I see Ron Darling on SNY the more frustration with this team I see. Keith Hernandez is almost there but Darling, he’s arrived. It started with watching the Mets relievers just kill the enthusiasm of the season with poor performance and poor performance. It intensified when Andres Torres with a chance to pay back Roger Bernadina for spiking Ruben Tejada bailed out, a play Darling called Torres out on and a few days later was still pissed about the nonpayment by Torres.
My frustration is with Terry Collins and his nightly “we have to give Jason Bay at bats to get him going” Terry, Please stop! My leg is full of piss! I don’t know whose call it is that Bay stays in the lineup, but someone in authority has to say stop already, and I’ll tell you this, Bay has not gotten anything close to venom spewed on Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez by the Mets fan base. What he gets booed? Big deal! Yes, I know Bay is a swell guy and is loved by all who meet him, and I’m not advocating the fan base go all asshole on him but I’m just pointing out the criticism of Bay is tame to what other non-performers in Flushing have endured.
Ike Davis knocks three baseballs out of the park and the Mets still loses. I’m speechless!

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STOP………………..Harvey Time

Tuesday night I Tweeted from Citi Field, the fact that I stood next to Matt Harvey in the Mets dugout during batting practice and just his presences oozed Major Leaguer to me.  He wasn’t one of these rail thin peach fuzz cheeked rookies, nope, he had that thick trunk that the best power pitchers possess and he just carried himself around the dugout, that was boarding on a three ring circus with Mets bloggers, main streamers and models posing by bat racks in tank tops. None of this fazed Harvey. I had my voice recorder in hand and wanted to get at least a five minute interview with Harvey but he was headed to the bullpen to get his work in so all I could muster was a quick “how ya doing” and “good luck”

It was a pleasure watching Harvey pitch last night (you could tell Keith Hernandez in Phoenix doing the game and Ron Darling in the SNY studios in Midtown were enjoying Harvey’s performance as well especially Darling) as I said he, has that thick trunk and uses it to push off the rubber to where he’s not using all arm to pitch. A guy named Seaver used to that way back when and he was pretty good too.  Harvey hit a high of 98 MPH with his fastball and averaged 95 for the night. One thing missing from Harvey’s repertoire was use of his curve ball which according to Brooks Baseball he threw just three times. It was a mix of fastball/slider for Harvey all night and he was at his most effective when he hit corners, especially the outside corner of the plate and work his fastball up the ladder. Bobby Parnell should sit with Harvey and watch tape of this performance because if Parnell could approach pitching like Harvey did last night, the Mets would never have another 10 game losing streak.

It’s hard to harness one’s enthusiasm for Matt Harvey and what’s to come the rest of this season and beyond after last night.  With the awful start to the second half and the infighting amongst some players and the fans looking for a miracle in Sandy Alderson’s second year of stewardship with the Mets, Matt Harvey gave the team and fans the pick me up both needed, lets’ hope it lasts.

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Checkout These Upcoming Events Featuring Former NY Mets

 

 

 

On Tuesday June 19th The Glider, Ed Charles and Art Shamsky will doing a meet and greet with Mets fans at the Citi Bank branch at 78-09 Metropolitan Ave, in Middle Village, Queens. Here are the particulars:

WHAT:           CITIBANK BRANCH APPEARANCE AND AUTOGRAPH SIGNING

WHO:             METS GREATS ED CHARLES AND ART SHAMSKY

WHEN:          TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2012 FROM 12:00-1:30 PM

 

WHERE:        CITIBANK BRANCH – 78-09 METROPOLITAN AVENUE IN MIDDLE VILLAGE, NY

 

 

If you’re still trying to figure out your plans for Father’s Day you may want to check out this event at Empire City at Yonkers Raceway:

Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway in Westchester County, New York will celebrate a “diamond-studded” Father’s Day on Sunday, June 17, with a special Empire City Baseball Giveaway, and all-day Autograph and Question & Answer Sessions by notable New York stars as Mets and Yankees World Champions Darryl Strawberry, Ron Darling, Ron Swoboda, Ed Kranepool and Roy White, and the legendary Brooklyn Dodger hurler Ralph Branca.

YES Network’s Yankees analyst Jack Curry will serve as the host.

The first 5,000 male Empire Club members to visit the Promotions kiosk in the Gotham Palace on Father’s Day will receive a free Empire City baseball. And here is the full lineup of baseball greats who will be on hand to make Father’s Day a special one for dad:

11:30 AM-1:00 PM: Ralph Branca, Brooklyn Dodgers All-Star pitcher

1:00-2:30 PM: Ron Swoboda and Ed Kranepool, 1969 NY Mets World Series champions

2:30-4:30 PM: Darryl Strawberry, three-time NY Yankees World Series champion, and NY Mets 1986 World Series champion

4:30-5:30 PM: Roy White, NY Yankees World Series champion

5:30-7:30 PM: Ron Darling, 1986 NY Mets World Series champion, SNY Mets analyst

 

Host: Jack Curry, YES Network Yankees reporter and analyst

 

 

In addition, a Father’s Day Buffet will be held in Good Time Room from 11:00 AM-10:00 PM. The prices are:  Empire Club Members $24.95 per person, Non-Members $29.95 per person.

 

 

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Hot Time in the Citi

 

Another game, another great pitching performance by out starting pitcher and as of last night the Mets, Nats and Fish are tied for first place in the NL East. Let that sink in while you drink your morning coffee.  

Last night Jon Niese kept the line moving with a 10K performance that was cut short due to Niese experiencing   a rapid heartbeat.  Niese suffered a bout of this last year and was checked to be fine and doesn’t seem to concerned about this time either. Maybe Niese should start taking a baby aspirin every morning, it works for me.

I was at Citi Field last night as it was that annual extravaganza called Gary, Keith and Ron Day Night in support for the charity Pitch In For a Good Cause. As always it was a wonderful event with all the raffles and auctions and getting to hang out and kibitz with Gary Cohen and Ron Darling. After discussing the Johan No hitter with Gary I was able to spend time talking to Darling who is a resident of Brooklyn NY (Keith Hernandez never attends this event as much as Mets fans love Keith it’s a one way street) about the good old days of growing up in the Boro of Churches in the 1970’s when it was far from the hipster paradise it is now.  If that wasn’t enough of a treat, the real star of the event were the Shake Shack cheeseburgers served buffet style and NO LINE!!!!!!

Not only was it GKR Night but it was also the night that John Franco was to be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. It was a nice ceremony complete with the Department of Sanitation Pipe Band. Edgardo Alfonzo was in attendance for the night’s festivities and I still feel that this should have been his night but I don’t want piss in the punch as Franco gave a terrific speech and everyone in attendance got a bit misty as Franco talked about his mom and dad. I understood exactly were Franco was coming from. I guess the Mets gave Franco free reign on who could be invited to his special night as his co-GM Al Leiter and David Cone, who both looked like they would rather be someplace else than sitting in Citi Field and from the reaction of the fans in the stands the feeling was mutual, were given permission from the Highlanders to travel to Flushing.  The topper of the ceremony though was when Jeff Innis and Brett Saberhagen were introduced to the crowd, that was my “Ok wrap this shit up start the game, I got work tomorrow” moment. Brett Saberhagen? Are you fucking kidding me? Oh by the way, let that be the last we see of the black jersey’s PLEASE and why did the jersey have both the regular Mets skyline logo and the 50th Anniversary logo in the sleeves with the KID 8 patch moved to the front of the jersey?    

Saw this in the team store last night I had to buy it even though it’s over priced but I’m still caught up in NO-HAN Mania.

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LET’S RAISE A GLASS TO THE ’86 METS

Man, 25 years ago. So where was I 25 years ago tonight when the most famous ground ball in baseball history went through the wickets of Bill Buckner?

I wasn’t at the game, I was home watching with my wife as we were in month seven of our marriage. The only game of the series I attend was Game 1, the game that turned on a ball getting through the legs of Tim Teufel, a play that gets lost in the Buckner Blunder, ruining a beautifully pitched game by Ron Darling with help from Roger McDowell.  

One of the issues with watching Mets games on TV back in ’86 was Bay Ridge Brooklyn was NOT wired for cable television back then. There was a whole quagmire with franchise rights by the cable companies, if you wanted the lucrative Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights account you had to take the less desirable East New York, Flatbush area as well. So after all the graft and bribes were dished out, I think it wasn’t until 1988 when we Bay Ridgeites  got  hooked up to Time-Warner Cable, so back in ’86 I spent most of my time in the numerous bars of Bay Ridge that were equipped with these enormous satellite dishes on their roofs to watch Mets game televised on SportsChannel.  So when games were on “free TV” I’d give my wallet and liver a break and stay home.

Game 6 was on a Saturday night, I remember we went for an unusually early dinner (my kids have a hard time believing that the same couple who fall asleep on the couch at 9PM used to go out until 4 or 5 the next morning on a regular basis. It’s the same way their stare at our wedding picture in which I have this incredible crop of curly brown hair. The tilt their heads from side to side like it’s some abstract painting in a gallery trying to figure out who the guy is with their mom. Lovely.) and then came home. Before getting home I stopped at the deli on 5th Ave to pick up some Molson Golden for my game libation. My wife sat with me for the first few innings (she is not big on watching Baseball or any sport on TV, she’ll go a games in person and enjoy it but to sit and watch on TV? Ain’t happening) then decided she go to the bedroom and watch something else. Of course she fell asleep, so it was just me, Vin Scully (Mets fans were very upset with Scully’s critiques of the Mets during this series)  Joe Garagiola and my six bottles of Molson.

Everyone knows about the bottom of the 10th inning of this game but the inning that gets lost in history is the bottom of the 8th where the Mets were down a run. Former Met, Calvin Schiraldi comes in for the Red Sox to help preserve the lead and bridge to Bob Stanley, the Boston closer. After a Lee Mazzilli (pinch hitting for Jesse Orosco) leadoff single, Davey Johnson went against the Earl Weaver book he was weaned on, to play small ball. Lenny Dykstra comes up (by the way after six Molson on top of the cocktails I had at dinner, I’m now talking to the TV like I’m sitting with Scully and Garagiola. I wish there was Twitter back then, my drunked Tweets would have been memorable) and lays down a sac bunt that he beats out, so now the Mets have 1st and 2nd no outs.  Wally Backman comes up and he lays down a sac bunt that moves Maz to 3rd and Nails to 2nd after an Intentional Walk to Keith Hernandez to set up a double play at any base, up stepped Gary Carter.

Here is why Mets fans love Gary Carter, nobody loves a pressure situation and came through in those situations like Kid.  That’s why when you sit in Citi Field and the Get Well Soon video comes on the screen, everyone stops and watches. That’s why when I see Ron Darling in the Stand Up For Cancer PSA, with his I Stand Up For My Catcher sign, I get a lump in my throat. Gary Carter was a great Met, retire his #8 PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I digress, Kid comes though with a Sac Fly scoring Maz and we are tied at 3.

After the top of the 10th where Rick Aguilera gave up 2 runs, all I need is a hand gun as I’ve turned into Elvis Presley , looking to shoot my TV. After two quick outs in the bottom of the 10th I am one ornery intoxicated Mets fan, with my TV remote in my hand I was ready to turn off the set as there was no way I was watching the Red Sox celebrate this World Series (the pain of 1973 was flashing through my mind) but then, he comes that man again, Gary Carter with the base hit but here I was pissed at Kid for that hit. Please put me out of my misery already but my misery turned to ecstasy.

“HONEY, WAKE UP! WAKE UP! THEY WON!!! THEY WON!!! THE METS WON!!!! YYYYYYEEEEAAAAHHHHHH!!!! GAME FUCKIN’SEVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”

My wife thought I’d lost my mind, I told get up and get dressed we got to go out. She looked at me like I was nuts but then she heard all the commotion coming from 5th Ave and then the phone started ringing as friends and family wanting to talk about the most improbable win in Mets history. There was no sleep that night/early mornings, bars and clubs of Bay Ridge were hoppin’ till sunrise and so was I.

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Tickets

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